In January, I find myself preaching about the value of goingback to "basics" with my clients. There is so much madnesssurrounding New Year's Resolutions that it is hard to remember that the basicsnever change. Move a little bit more and eat a little bit less and you will seeresults. Add to this some structured muscle building activity, focus on feedingyourself frequently. Cut down on your sugar intake, eat less processed flour,white rice and pasta and consume more lean protein. Drink more water and getenough rest. This NEVER changes. No matter if it is June or January. It works. Always.
The business of personal training is interesting. When itseems like the whole world is on a diet or at the gym, our business stays alittle more quiet than usual and we even experience a bit of a slow down of newclients. The reason for this is that people usually come to us AFTER they havetried all kinds of other things. They come to us with a certain level offrustration. They've tried and failed at an attempt to get in shape. Professionalfitness consulting is seen as something different and doesn't really fit intothe madness of the New Year's Resolution.
Watching the world go crazy and feeling a bit sluggishbusiness-wise, it is tempting to start advertising like crazy or offering discountsor specials, packages etc. In other words, it is tempting to try things inJanuary that you wouldn't normally do in June. I am here to tell you to getback to BASICS! The same things that work in the summer work in January... orFebruary. Always.
To build a personal training business and to find clientsrequires three things. You have to meet people, you have to turn them intoclients and then you have to make them glad that they became your client. Doingthis requires planning, discipline and hard work.
Take some time to write a marketing plan for the year andreview it on a monthly basis. Plan to do as much "outreach" aspossible every month. Phil Kaplan has preached often on the idea of outreach. Simply,it means that you should look for opportunities to put yourself in front of asmany people as possible on a regular basis to compel them to look at you alittle further. No selling, just compelling. Your outreach can be formal, likedoing blood pressure checks at a store or informal like handing out businesscards as you go through your daily routine.
Next, examine your product very closely while you may havesome down time. If it is really, really good and you are compelling people toit, you will become successful. Make everything you do about the client. Whenthey experience great results, document those results and use them to help youcompel the next people that you meet to examine you further.
In the end... stay the course. If things worked for you in thepast, they can work for you again now and in the future. Don't give in to theinsanity of the season. If you've strayed, get back to basics and start movingin the right direction again. Above all, you should have a consistent messagethat you can stand by no matter the time of the season.
Ernie Schramayr is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and the owner of All Canadian Fitness, a private training studio in Hamilton, Ontario (www.allcanadianfitness.com).